• synonyms


[man-dey-muh s]Law.
noun, plural man·da·mus·es.
  1. a writ from a superior court to an inferior court or to an officer, corporation, etc., commanding that a specified thing be done.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to intimidate or serve with such writ.
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Origin of mandamus

From the Latin word mandāmus we command
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mandamus

Historical Examples

  • They will move, therefore, in the Queen's Bench, for a mandamus—'

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

  • They rejected her application, whereupon she applied for a mandamus.

  • Then they filed a mandamus to compel it to do so, and brought the matter into the courts.

  • And, by the way, isn't there such a writ as a mandamus, or a duces tecum?

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • But, in 1774, he was an addressor of Hutchinson, and was appointed a mandamus councillor.

    Tea Leaves


British Dictionary definitions for mandamus


noun plural -muses
  1. law formerly a writ from, now an order of, a superior court commanding an inferior tribunal, public official, corporation, etc, to carry out a public duty
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Word Origin

C16: Latin, literally: we command, from mandāre to command
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for mandamus


1530s, "writ from a superior court to an inferior one, specifying that something be done," (late 14c. in Anglo-French), from Latin, literally "we order," first person plural present indicative of mandare "to order" (see mandate (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper